The Dallas Morning News investigates whether regulators are “too easy” on the troubled Timberlawn Mental Health System.

The Dallas Morning News investigates whether regulators are “too easy” on the troubled Timberlawn Mental Health System.

The Dallas Morning News’ Miles Moffeit takes a sobering look at whether healthcare regulations are strong enough to protect patients and staff at Timberlawn Mental Health System—a UHS-operated behavioral health facility in Dallas, TX, with a “lengthy history of regulatory trouble.”

 

The article notes:

“Two months after a violent patient killed a doctor at Timberlawn  — and nine months after Texas officials moved to close the hospital over unsafe conditions — the facility remains open.

And its Pennsylvania owners haven’t paid a cent of the $1 million fine the state levied in December.”

 

The article explains that the system in place tasked with regulating health care facilities is not the most effective:

“Texas law gives health-care providers substantial wiggle room to fight penalties as they continue to operate. Hospitals can take months to bargain down fines or respond to efforts to revoke their licenses.”

“Texas health officials acknowledge they don’t focus on punitive actions. Instead of lowering the boom on hospitals for safety breaches, they say they try to nudge the facilities into fixing problems. But under that system, some hospitals appear to operate with impunity for years, undermining the enforcement process, critics say.”

 

Read the Dallas Morning News Story: “Is Texas too easy on troubled Dallas psychiatric hospital?

Read the March 2016 Dallas Morning News investigation into the shocking number of serious safety violations at dozens of UHS hospitals, including Timberlawn:  “Danger in the psych ward: Safety issues plague a chain of mental-health hospitals in Texas and across the United States.